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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Stabilization and Incorporation into Biomass of Phenolic and Benzenoid Carbons during Biodegradation in Soil1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 46 No. 2, p. 305-309
    Received: June 26, 1981
    Accepted: Oct 1, 1981

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  1. Ghiath Kassim,
  2. Diane E. Stott,
  3. J. P. Martin and
  4. K. Haider2



The biodegradation, incorporation into biomass, and stabilization in humus of specific carbons of ferulic, p-hydroxycinnamic, anisic, and benzoic acids and catechol were followed in Steinbeck loam (pH 5.0) and Greenfield sandy loam (pH 7.0). Biomass was estimated by the fumigation procedure. The least incorporation into biomass was noted for the three-side chain carbon of ferulic acid (1.0 to 1.4%) and the greatest for the two-side chain carbons of either ferulic or p-hydroxycinnamic acids (10.9 to 17.6%). Greater amounts of carbon were evolved as carbon dioxide (CO2) and incorporated into the biomass in the acid soil than in the neutral soil. Approximately 74% of the ring carbons of catechol were stabilized in the neutral soil after 12 weeks but only 2% of that was in biomass. The amount of residual carbon found in the biomass decreased with time. The amount of residual ring-carbons of anisic and benzoic acids incorporated into the biomass were 19 and 15%, respectively. As the substrate concentration increased from 1 to 10,000 ppm, the carbon released as CO2 from ferulic acid and glucose ranged from 47 to 85% and from 63 to 85%, respectively. The residual ferulic acid and glucose carbons in biomass ranged from 2.2 to 11% and 19 to 39%, respectively. The study indicated that relatively higher amounts of the phenolic carbons were stabilized in the soil humus while greater amounts of the glucose carbons were incorporated into the soil biomass, and that compared to glucose, greater amounts of the residual carbons of the phenolic compounds were not solubilized by 6N HCl hydrolysis.

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